Report: GM Not Bothered By Corvette Markups

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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report gm not bothered by corvette markups

Chevrolet’s C8 Corvette has been in demand.

So much so that some dealers are commanding markups up to $100K over MSRP.

Considering the last Corvette we tested was at $79K, which we felt was a bargain for the performance, that means you could pay an exorbitant amount for a C8.

The response from General Motors amounts to a shrug.

Tony Johnson, GM’s director of car and crossover marketing said as much to GM Authority.

“Dealers are the interface with the customers, so customers make the deal with the dealer, so we leave that side of the business to our great dealer partners, who I think do a fantastic job, honestly, meeting customer needs and helping them through the journey,” Johnson told the site.

When asked if the company could or would do anything to keep dealer markups low, he responded thus: “Well, it’s supply and demand. We supply them, the dealers meet the demand.”

Obviously, one thing Chevy could do is just build more cars, but production delays have been a problem, thanks to a labor strike and COVID-related plant shutdowns, as well as the semiconductor chip shortage.

Still, Chevy sold over 20K cars in 2020 and appears to be on track to easily break that mark in 2021 — over 14,000 cars have moved already.

While dealers are within their right to charge huge markups on a car that’s in high demand and short supply — that’s capitalism, baby — it often feels gross and exploitative. Especially when the markup is higher than the MSRP.

We suggest waiting if you want a Corvette. If not, you might be paying a lot extra for the privilege of being impatient.

[Image: Chevrolet]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 38 comments
  • THX1136 THX1136 on Jul 14, 2021

    "While dealers are within their right to charge huge markups on a car that’s in high demand and short supply — that’s capitalism, baby — it often feels gross and exploitative." I don't argue with the last part of that quote, but no one has the proverbial 'gun to their head' to pay those prices. The ask can be what it is, you don't HAVE to pay the ask. You have a bit more control over that than you may think.

    • See 1 previous
    • JMII JMII on Jul 15, 2021

      @Astigmatism This. Dealers have always added mark ups to in demand vehicles. The C8 is both in demand and in short supply due to production issues. GM wanted 40k out the door but could only made 20k. As mentioned by others you can easily get a C8 at MSRP... but you'll be waiting nearly a year for your shiny new toy to arrive. In mean time C7's (like mine) are selling for big bucks as the lack of trade ins have resulted in very few on the used car lot.

  • Syke Syke on Jul 14, 2021

    Considering I had a McLaren 7-something-or-other (724S?) pull up next to me at a traffic light today, and it took me about 30 seconds to realize it wasn't a C8 Corvette, I can understand how the dealers are getting away with it.

  • Socrates77 Socrates77 on Jul 14, 2021

    A lot of people where having issues with the frunk flying open while driving. That's GM quality for you. Cheap made cars and people buy them because they never owned a Porsche before. They don't know a well made car.

    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 14, 2021

      No, there were *some* reports of the frunk opening while in motion. Corvette Forum covered it pretty well. As for a Porsche being a better made car, think of it this way. The delta in price between a base C7 and a base 911 (same model years) would basically buy an entry-level BMW. So, yeah the Porsche damn well should be a better made car. And it is. I can't speak to the C8, but the weak points of the C7, quality-wise, was the general inconsistency of exterior fit/finish. Most came out just fine, but too many for a modern car were found to have panels that didn't fit as well as they should. Also, some cars were affected with excessive orange peel in the paint. So if you are going quote workmanship issues, at least be accurate. I would not be surprised to find out that the C8 has the same body panel issues as the C7. Paint problems should not be an issue as there is a brand new paint facility in the Bowling Green assembly plant. Then again, look at virtually all new cars - most sport way too much orange peel.

  • Garrett Garrett on Jul 14, 2021

    Dealers near me are marking up Tahoes and Suburbans. Frankly, I would never pay markup for a car. Period. If I was interested in purchasing a car with a markup, I would politely inform the dealer that the markup will not be happening. If they insist upon it, then I can take my business elsewhere. GM makes the cars, if they want to add $10k or $100k to the price, that’s their choice. The dealer adding to the price is like a scalper buying up all the concert tickets and then trying to charge 3x face value - basically, creating no economic value, and only functioning as a parasite. On second thought, I’d probably walk off the lot if I see dealer markup on a car I was interested in. Tells me everything I need to know about the dealer.